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You can't always discipline your employee for refusing to do work!

by , 29 August 2013
Your employee just finished cleaning up paint stains with turpentine when he asks you what to do with the little amount left in the bottle. You tell him to pour it down the sink but he says no. And now you want to discipline him for refusing. But wait, you can't because he said no to do this.

Your employee has the right to refuse to do what you say if it'll harm him or the environment, and here's why!

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You can't always discipline your employee for refusing to do work!
 
The National Environmental Management Act says it clearly, you mustn't dismiss, discipline or harass your employee because he refuses to do work that'll harm him or the environment (Section 2.4j)
 
It's not the first time I've heard an employer complain about his employee who refused to do work. The truth is, you must dispose of waste in the correct way or it'll harm your employees and the environment. And if your employee feels the way he's doing this will put him in harm's way, he has the right to say no. What's more you can't force him to do it either.
 
The law is very clear on this and that's why you need to know this now. Here's what the law says you can't do if your employee refuses to follow your instructions.
 
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Three things the NEMAct says you mustn't do
 
1. You mustn't dismiss, discipline, prejudice or harass your employee because he refused to do work that'll seriously harm him or the environment (Section 29.1, Chapter 7, NEMAct);
2. It also says you mustn't bribe him or promise him a reward if he agrees to do the work (Section 29.4, Chapter 7); and
3. You mustn't ignore disposing waste correctly. If your employee won't dispose of waste in one way, give him other ways to do it so he won't harm himself or the environment. For example, create a recycle bin to collect different types of waste so they can be disposed in the correct way (Section 29.3, Chapter 7).
 
If you don't comply with the NEMAct and an incident happens, the courts will find you guilty of a criminal and civil offence, and fine you heavily. Make sure you train your employees to look out for hazards so, if they're in danger they can protect themselves and the environment. Get your copy of the Health and Safety Training Manual here.
 
Until next time,
 
Miriro Matema
 
P.S. Train your employees to comply with the NEMAct. You'll help them keep safe, protect the environment and avoid prosecution. Subscribe to the Health and Safety Training Manual and you'll get a 90-day money back guarantee!



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